PRESIDENTS MESSAGE (Why haven't there been more newsletters?)

11-12-99 My Response
1.Many of you have no doubt noticed that it has been quite awhile since you have received a newsletter. The reasons for this are both of necessity and choice. Let me explain.

First the necessity. Now that even I have come somewhat into the computer age, I have discovered that with the ease of computer use comes the problem of computer breakdown. Mine broke and despite repeated attempts at fixing it, involving extended phone conversations with a factory representative, it remains broken. if you should ever consider purchase of a computer, you may want to talk to me first. My computer, which I had somewhat facetiously named "Crash" has in fact lived up to its name. May it now rest in peace. So much for the element of computerized necessity.

Now on to choice. 2.During the course of the school board campaign, we made a conscious decision as an organization to adopt a very low profile. We realized that there were issues 'involving candidates' relationship to unions and union backing that could become a part of the campaign. It should not have been so but we have to face the reality of politics. 3.Unfortunately although our newsletter is designed for the purpose of informing membership, it often times has a distribution which goes beyond the membership. It is read by administration, school board members and often times is shared with the media. What we put in newsletters often times affects what we read in the newspaper. The idea was to rely on the efforts of the independent campaign committees to achieve our goals in the election and therefore the union adopted a very low profile.

As well we thought it wise to not offer information on negotiations through the newsletter until after the election had taken place. It is obvious that there are persons and groups who would have liked to use the negotiations process as campaign fodder. We wished to deny them that opportunity. 3. Information was given to building stewards at the dinner meeting and to the membership at the October general membership meeting.

The election is now over and it is time to move on, which brings us to another necessity, that of informing the membership. Thus we plan to resume our negotiations updates through the newsletter.

It is probably also necessary at this time to reflect a bit on the outcome of the school board election. 4.I think that there are probably some members who were disappointed in that only two of our candidates won seats on the school board. It is obvious that we would like to have seen the entire slate elected; however, in the final analysis, I think it is fair to say we did just fine. 5.Just over two years ago we had no friends on the school board. It seemed as though every vote was 9 - 0 against us and the school board was 9 - 0 against us. 6. We now have six members who are friendly. They may not always support our point of view, but they will be open to discussion and will 7. vote their conscience on issues affecting public education in Duluth. Don't forget this represents a 6 - 3 majority.

A lot of good work has been done over the course of the last two years. Our appreciation should go out to the members of our election committee, in particular Sue Anderson and Char Johnson. it was gratifying to see so many members in our office working to get information out to not only our membership but to other voters as well. Many thanks to all who took part.

Some members have also questioned why we did not respond to some of the charges and accusations made by groups such as F.I.G.H.T. or by individual candidates. 7. A conscious decision was made not to run a negative campaign and not to respond to negative issues. To respond to organizations like F.I.G.H.T. just gives them more press and more credibility. To respond to personal attacks would reduce us to the level of the person making those attacks. This organization chose to take the high road. I'm glad we did and I'm proud of the effort which was made.

In closing, let me give you a short negotiations update, thus far we have had two mediation sessions. The atmosphere has been cordial and attitude has been positive. Although this gives reason for optimism, it is well to remember that a number of major issues remain to be resolved including salary. There are also some issues which must be resolved by the membership prior to the negotiations. We will give you more information on these in an upcoming newsletter.

Thank you for your patience, your support and your help. If you have questions or concerns, please call me at ***-**** after 12:30 p.m.

Frank Wanner, President

1. I sure had! I thought that maybe Frank had seen this sitet and been intimidated at the prospect of being contradicted.

I know. I know. Sometimes my ego gets the better of me.







2. Of course that "low profile" did not prevent the Teacher's Union from pouring money into the election illegally.



3.And because the DFT newsletter has been impossible to refute (at least until now) it has been the bane of administrators and school board members.Tim Grover told me that after he read this he saw Frank and teased him about how much he agreed with Frank about this as he always looked forward to reading the newsletter.






3. Ah! Something I won't get a chance to refute. That Frank is a tricky guy.






4. Since the board members who survived the DFT blitzkreig have been so vilified by Frank this is probably a great understatement.

5. That's what Frank kept telling the teachers anyway.

6. And once again Mary Glass LeBlanc, Bob Mars and I are being portrayed as "enemies." I guess there won't be any honeymoon for the old members of the"Gang of Five."

7. Ouch! So Frank doesn't think we vote our conscience. This is like saying we have no integrity. Well poop on you Frank.







7. Gee I'm surprised Frank doesn't consider the last minute mailing financed (illegally) by Education Minnesota as negative.